Spin Loses Sexual Harassment Case

A federal jury awarded $110,000 in compensatory damages and back pay to a

former Spin magazine employee who charged the magazine's publisher, Bob

Guccione Jr., with sexual harassment. After five days of intense deliberation

in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, a middle-aged jury of five men and four

women agreed with Staci Bonner's claims that the editorial department at the

magazine

created a hostile working environment for the now 29-year-old former research

editor and writer at the magazine, according to a report in today's Los

Angeles Times. The jury declined to assess punitive damages, which

observers believe could have irreparably damaged the magazine's chances of

survival, .

Jurors rejected Bonner's claims that the manner in which she

was promoted constituted a form of sexual discrimination and that the

intentional infliction of emotional distress forced her to resign from the

magazine.

According to the Times, "Bonner, 29, had contended that

women at Spin were hired and promoted and received plum assignments

often based on their personal relationships with the 41-year-old publisher."

Guccione denied Bonner's charges and countered that she was simply not a

very gifted writer and her assignments reflected her abilities.

Bonner's

attorney, Hillary Richard, told reporters she was "glad that Staci was

vindicated, that the jury believed in her and her claims," but disappointed

that Guccione and the magazine weren't hit harder. "

During testimony,

witnesses portrayed Spin, founded in the mid-'80s by Guccione, son of

Penthouse magazine Publisher Bob Guccione Sr., as an environment where female

employees "were sometimes subjected to unwanted touching and locker-room-style

comments from male superiors and co-workers. Bonner said she received a crude

proposition from one editor-writer and unwanted back rubs from a senior

editor."

Neither Guccione or his lawyers had a public reaction to the

settlement.